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Poems share Barrington student's perspective on pandemic

Fifth-grader Isabel Sander writes about distance learning, missing sports, and the year 2020

By Josh Bickford
Posted 6/1/20

A Barrington fifth-grader has found a new way to express her thoughts about being stuck at home.

Hampden Meadows School student Isabel Sander has been writing poems about life during the …

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Please support local news coverage –

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Poems share Barrington student's perspective on pandemic

Fifth-grader Isabel Sander writes about distance learning, missing sports, and the year 2020

Posted

A Barrington fifth-grader has found a new way to express her thoughts about being stuck at home.

Hampden Meadows School student Isabel Sander has been writing poems about life during the coronavirus pandemic.

The poems chronicle her personal situation, which has been shared by countless people all over the world.

"School" shares her feelings about the final few days before officials closed schools across Rhode Island and sent students home to an uncertain future.

Lysol spray

In the air

Clorox wipes

Need be shared

We pack our bags

With work to do

Because this hasn't happened

Since the Spanish Flu

We take home our computers

So if they cancel school

We can still do school work

Since education is our fuel

I stop a moment in my seat

Wondering if it’s all true

Could it be the last time

I see all of you?

As we start dismissal

I shake the notion away

It’s only when I get home that I realize

Today could have been our last day

They say Friday 13th

Is a scary day

And school is canceled

Leaving us in dismay

Eleven-year-old Isabel said she is doing "pretty well" with distance learning. She also said she really enjoys writing poems to fill some of her free time at home.

"I am writing these for people to see what living in this time is like for me and other kids around the world," she said.

Isabel said she had been looking forward to a fun finish to the school year, her final year at Hampden Meadows before starting middle school in the fall. Officials at Hampden Meadows School normally celebrate the end of the year with a large awards ceremony outside, attended by teachers, students and students' families. That will not be happening this year.

Isabel shared some of those thoughts in her poem "The Last Day Of The Last Year."

Now no one knows for sure

And some deny to say

But Many people think

We have had our last day

The last day at HMS

Our last day in elementary school

Our last day being 5th graders

The thought just feels so cruel

I am also sad

Because this year we had a plan

To make the most of our last year

And enjoy it while we can

But now it may just be false hope

Because nobody is quite sure

If the last day of the last year

Could have passed in a blur…

Isabel said she has also had some memorable experiences recently.

"My mom organized a drive-by parade for the residents and staff at Orchard View Nursing Home," Isabel said. "A few other families from Barrington came and joined us. We made signs, banged pots and pans, and even delivered food for the hardworking staff. We had to stay in our cars because of social distancing, but it was a fun event for all the people that attended."

Isabel's poem "Not today" references some of the things the local girl has missed during the pandemic.

How I love the feel

When I get a perfect pass

And shoot the ball

Off the glass

But not today

And how I love the feel

Of the soccer ball

Beneath my feet

Round and small

But not today

Because Coronavirus

Just keeps getting in the way

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.